tv FOX News Watch FOX News July 25, 2009 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
the journal editorial report thanks to my panel and all of you for watching. i'm paul gigot, we hope to see you right here, next week! >> announcer: on fox news watch. >> president obama calls another news conference, taking primetime to sell his health plan. with nearly 200 members of the media present some asked where was the press? the president did make news with this. >> cambridge police acted stupidly. >> out in media takes sides. >> the governator on twitter. >> news legend passes. leaving the question who can we trust now? >> on the panel this week, programming editor for broadcasting and cable magazine. cal thomas, jim pinkerton. and kirsten powers, new york's post columnist and fox news
analyst. i'm john scott, fox news watch is on right now! i understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics to turn every issue into a running tally of who is up and down one told his party that even though they may want to compromise it is better politics to go for the kill. another republican senator defeating health care reform is about breaking me. so let me be clear this isn't about me. i have great insurance. so does every member of congress. this is about the letters i read when i sit in the oval office and the stories i hear at townhall meeting everyone >> president defending his plan wednesday night. nearly 200 members of the media were on hand in the east
room for that event. only 10 reporters called on mr. obama, and all questions were on the president's chosen topic. given how much confusion the american public seems to have over this issue, cal, should there have been more questions or maybe more answers? >> this was the most controlled news conference i've seen in years and i've watched since john kennedy. the president comes out, he has his little book, they call reporters in advance to find out if they are going to be there. they claim they don't [ inaudible ] every question except the last is on health care. why weren't they asking about afghanistan where more troops are dying than every -- ever before? why aren't they asking about the transition in iraq, the economy? this was controlled. boring. he gave a filibuster on practically everything and eyes were glazing over. i don't think he conveyed a lot of information that anybody understood. >> given the fact the president does have plans to
try to revamp health care, 20% almost to the american economy, i suppose you can argue the press were proper in asking all those questions. did we get answers? do we know any more now? >> this was bill, my understanding this was a health care press conference, so would it make sense that they would be asking about it, possibly the biggest issue on american's mid. i didn't think obama was asking the questions he was asked completely. i think the set-up unfortunately the reporters don't feel they can be as confrontational with the president as they are say with the white house press secretary so he kinds of filibusters. >> marie seems to be nodding in agreement. he has had four of these primetime news conference, as many as george w. bush had in two administrations. how were the ratings?
>> ratings have dropped. this one down 14% from the last and that was down from the previous one before that so, what he does with these he tries to talk over the heads of the reporters and go straight to the voters this is such a morass, this health care reform issue. the interesting thing that came out of that press conference is now he's calling it health insurance reform. which, i think is more relevant to most of us. because we are fine with our health care, it is our insurance we don't like that was the only moving of the needle we saw. >> she used the word morass jim, which brings me back to my point. are the press doing a good job of explaining -- >> one doesn't think so is a radio analyst in d.c., veteran d.c. political observer. he's no conservative and he said they are not journalists
they enablers. they are enabling obama to [ inaudible ] obama has outsmarted himself. they spend all their time focus grouping every word he says, go through the mail and look for anecdotes that tug on heart strings and they get it perfect. the problem is a boring package that marion francis berry contribute for call it bloodless. it drained away the interest and it is not doing him any good. >> another interesting thing that caught my eye talk about the president trying to go over the heads of the press. he held a meeting with important n his words bloggers some of the more, i guess, more read blogers -- more red bloggers and said they are best at debunking milts that can slip through media outlets that is why you are going to play such an important role in
our says in the weeks to come. first of all cal, blogs are better than al -- traditional media at debunking myths? >> it is talk radio from limbaugh to hannity to levine, these guys have read the 1,000 page house bill they are dissecting it, putting out the true information that's the reason the support for it is in a free fall. is it prop tritt for the president to be -- it is appropriate for the president to be asking bloggers to play an important part in our success? >> yeah, this he are liberal bloggers on his side ideologically, may not all be necessarily crazy about obama, but they want health reform. i think the bloggers sometimes do debunk things that are overlooked by the mainstream media. you know, they also come up with a lot of [ inaudible ]
i find they follow up on thingses that the mainstream media kind of glosses over. >> they took apart dan rather five years ago on the fake memo business. but the real attention is the blog sphere that obama is catering to is way to the left. the morass issue is this mushy obama care thing where nobody knows where. that's what bloggers are excited about. they are going to pull him over toward the left end of the [ inaudible ] not popular with the country. >> i'm not sure we a lot of answers after the media after that news conference. we have to take a break. we have extras available on our website including some of the spirited discussions that appear during the break. we will be back in two minutes with this. >> announcer: he witnessed the news he reported the news. to some he was the pinnacle of television news reporting.
was walter cronkite the last of his breed? >> racial tensions make headlines following the president's remarks. did the news media play a role? the results are in. beauty editors and research institutes are seeing results. [ male announcer ] best cleanser, essence magazine. hydrates better than the $350 cream. [ female announcer ] most importantly, women are seeing results. and still no drastic measures. olay regenerist.
thisa@ is my last broadcast as anchorman a moment i've long planned but comes with some sadness almost two decades we've been meeting like this in the evenings and i will miss that >> and we'll miss him. the face of cbs muss for more than 20 years known as the most trusted man in america. walter cronkite died last week. he was 92. marissa will we see another one like him? >> no and the environment is different. you can have another walter cronkite because there are 5,000 people who want to be in that position. so he occupied that position in a unique period in media
history. >> and there were only a handful of broadcast outlets when he really cut his teeth. these days you've got umpteen cable news channels, a fractured marketplace. >> there's something else too. i was at nbc when he was at cbs these were the late 50s, early 60s when news wasn't required to make money. the network president said the entertainment division will make the money, you just do news. gulf oil had a deal with the late frank mcgene at nbc any time -- mcgee at any time he thought to go on they would sponsor it, no questions asked. golden days now news is sold like a commodity one of the reasons we get coverage like wall-to-wall michael jackson, different era >> what is the -- [ inaudible ] >> a dying breed. demographics [ inaudible ] i think people now seek out
people who tell them what they want to hear. and that's not the format they have on those newscasts. >> plus you can get it any time on the internet. >> i don't doubt walter cronkite was a patriot, war correspondent, big fan of the space program, which a prove of. let's say it he was a liberal. and he took cbs news as a liberal institution and made it more liberal. an expert on these things way become we did a study of the coverage in mine toon 72 of the vietnam war. i was on cbs 1400 local stories and [ inaudible ] 20-1 ratio as recorded by one of the few journalists who had the guts to say the truth about cronkite. love him or hate him, but he was a liberal. >> one other thing in the cbs tribute, there was an
important clip interview he did in early 1963 with john kennedy, kennedy said we cannot win this war for the ave to win it on their own. so that's very important. it was lyndon johnson who ratcheted up the war against that insight and against the experience of the friend: -- of the french. i know a lot of my friends like to blame the media, but that was unwinable unless i was won by the south vietnamese and cronkite pointed out the obvious. i was curious, the war wasn't going well, [ inaudible ] >> war was going fine. [ talking over each other ] >> it happened to be liberals who were talking. >> does anybody doubt that cbs news led the charge onyx son against watergate? >> someone should have.
>> my point is it is a liberal network. they were [ inaudible ] >> i think it is a liberal network but that doesn't expunge nixon's guilt. he was a crook nixon violated the constitution to say that is not a liberal or conservative -- it is a fact. >> and westmoreland had a problem with cbs news. >> he sued them. >> there is this new poll out interest "time" magazine asked: now that walt are cronkite is dead who is america's most trusted newscaster? guess who wins? jon stewart 44%, brian williams 29%, charlie gibson 19% and katie couric, only 7%. john stewart. not -- jon stewart not and a real news man. >> time for another break.
the police station that there might be a burglary taking place. they investigate what happens. my understanding is, at that point, professor gates already in his house. the police officer comes in, i'm sure there's some exchange of words. but, my understanding is that professor gates shows his id to show this is his house. at that point he gets arrested for disorderly conduct. i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts what role race played in that but i think it is fair to say number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof they were in their own home. and number three, what i think we know separate and apart from this incident is that,
there is a long history in this country of african-americans and latinos, being stopped by law enforcement, disproportionately that's just a fact. >> with that answer, the president stirred up a hornets nest of controversy that is still boiling today. he was answering the question about arrest of a harvard university professor, a from of his henry gates. his choice of words getting strong react from the media and the arresting officer. >> i support the presiçijt the united states 110%, i think he's way off base wading into a local issue without knowing the fact as he stated before he made that comment. so, again i -- i don't know what to say about that. i guess a from of mine would >> you time as a press secretary when the president was asked that question and when he started to answer,
could you just see robert gibbs covering his eyes and holding his ears? >> i don't think there was much wrong with what he said except for attacking the police department. that went -- >> let me interrupt you. why after he starts off by saying, i don't know all the facts, why go on from there? >> i think he was making a larger point which is there has been discrimination against african-americans by police and you can understand how this became a heated thing. but he took decide -- sides and that's the miss sake. he should not have -- that's the mistake. he should not have taken sides. >> this is what happens when you take the teleprompter away from the community organizer this is what -- in chicago they love to hear in the inner city. when the president of the united states goes after blue collar america after frank richie, after joe the plumber and now james crowley, there's trouble and i guarantee you
robert gibbs wishes this hadn't happen. he said just because he used the word stupid doesn't moon he called him stupid that was an artful device. you seem to disagree q >> i think his spoken to the question was human and authentic. i think from a public relations standpoint, both the police officer who arrested a harvard professor after he ascertained that it was a harvard professor and president obama who criticized the police department from a public relations standpoint they both stepped in it. his response about the -- about racial profiling in general was a human one and one from his own experiences. >> surely it was the only spontaneous moment in the entire press conference so for that we can be greatful. we have two issues, racial profiling and the continued dialogue of race in america. i agree that's an issue. that's not what was at issue
at the press conference. >> i wondered why she bothered, i figured she wouldn't get a response, but she did. >> she knows obama so she probably had a good sense, i people are always looking to stir up the race issue always hoping to get something going so there -- [ inaudible ] some controversy and we can talk about it for a week. >> another story that involves race and ruffling feathers. take a listen. >> got a knife. >> we would imagine a knife like this is acceptable if you are crocodile dundee but if you are governor? arnold schwarzenegger the california governor held up a huge knife in a video posted on twitter talking about state budget cuts tuesday said he wanted to thank californians for providing him with
creative ideas for slashing the budget. some thought it was insensitive but the governor is defending the video saying just relax and have a bit of a sense of humor. >> i think he does. this mystifies me why this is a big deal he is making a point and used illustrations to make a point. >> we've seen him in his movies with much more -- [ talking over each other ] >> we've seen him half naked >> my personal favorite was the mr. freeze suit. >> everybody wants to make controversy out of something like, remember reagan's testing the microphone, we begin bombing russia in five minutes the media all over that in several days trying to portray him as a trigger happy warmonger. >> i think joking about bombing countries is probably a little out of line. i think we overreacted not like he pulled out an ak-47,
it is just a knife. >> it takes -- kicks back to the start of this particular blog, when you are the president you have to be careful what you say. when president obama weighed in to that controversy involving the cambridge police officer, i betcha he's not going to answer those kinds of questions in the future the press. >> i don't know. i think that he still can't resist some questions. he can't resist talking certain things. there's a certain insensitivity there. i think there was a certain insensitivity this is like my buddy and he's a harvard guy. >> so he must be right. >> yeah. a real insensitivity. >> let's give his campaign manager, some credit for saying look no more of this if you want to get reelected. >> we have to take one more break. when we come back, another presidential news conference and another chance for a late night laugh, next on news watch. ♪ i'm your venus
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president obama was on television earlier tonight, they held a tv conference earlier tonight. guy finally see the get some air time, i thought. t >> president obama held another ressss conference tonight, preempting all the major networks again. al it is time for oprah to give mj him a show. and the white house actually, this is true, rescheduled the president, they moved it up an hour from 9:00 to 8:00 because
nbc complained it would interfere with america's got talent. >> the president of the united states moved his press conference to accommodate a a show david hasselhoff is on. >> and that is true.aslh he has been in office for just. six months and boy, has he been busy, president obama called cs neis fourth prime time news , tnference and, yes, that is the same number that formerredt president george bush held in his entire eight years in office. > mr. obama has also done a fairn number of sitdowns umwith thes network. cnn at leastwith five times thus far.imes six times at abc news, seven times with cbs, nine times witt nbc. just two interviews with fox w news since taking office. we are still waiting for our third opportunity. cal, have you had your sitdown? >> i made several requests.an bob beckel and i want to do a common ground